SeaGL speaker Q&A: edunham
SeaGL speaker and staff member edunham answers a few questions about the upcoming conference:
Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?
A: Hi, I’m edunham. I’m a “DevOps” engineer for Mozilla Research and alum of the OSU Open Source Lab. I enjoy working on and with free and open source software, and find that public speaking is a natural extension of that instinct to share information.
Q: Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?
A: My talk is called “You Should Speak”, and it’s all about offering technical solutions to the obstacles which keep others from taking advantage of the excellent personal and professional opportunities that result from presenting at tech conferences. Halfway through my education at Oregon State University, I accidentally founded a sysadmin training program called DevOps Bootcamp, and found myself teaching a bunch of newbies about topics that I wasn’t yet super confident at myself. I’ve gone on to speak at over a dozen different tech conferences in the past few years. This SeaGL will be my 19th talk since 2013, and the 3rd or 4th conference I’ve helped organize, so the suggestions in my talk are drawn from a reasonable amount of experience (though I haven’t been doing this long enough to forget what it’s like to be new).
Q: Is this your first visit to SeaGL? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?
I spoke at SeaGL last year, and found it to be a really pleasant, welcoming event. I think its size is in the sweet spot for Northwest tech conferences: Large enough to offer a wide variety of talks and cater to diverse experience levels, yet small enough to mitigate problems with getting lost in the crowd. It also fits in a downtown venue surrounded by restaraunts, which you’ll appreciate if you’ve ever been to a gathering at a convention center in a “food desert”! Socially, I felt like SeaGL was less “cliquey” than some larger conferences, as well – attendees seemed happy to talk to strangers, and always had something interesting to say!